Lobbying from the Pesticide Industry in Canada: A State "Captured" by Private Interests?

Prof. Stephanie Yates

In January 2019, Health Canada announced its decision to maintain the registration of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide produced by Mosanto, for the next 15 years. This decision was made despite the fact that Mosanto manipulated its studies submitted to Health Canada for the renewal of its approval.

In the meantime, the European Union has taken a cautious approach to this issue by limiting glyphosate approval to a five-year period. In this context, one can question the influence that has been exerted in this case in the Canadian context. To what extent has the industry, and Mosanto in the first place (now Bayer), put pressure on public office holders to defend its interests? What was the nature of its access to public office holders? Did the revolving door, or the passage of some of its employees (or partners) within the Canadian government apparatus, help the company promote its views? Can it be argued that, in this case, the public interest has somehow been "captured" by the private interest, as the capture theory suggests?

We propose to reflect on these questions based on a literature review, data available in the Canadian Lobbyists Registry, and semi-directive interviews with key players involved in this issue.